The Asian industrial bakery market is changing quickly. From sustainability and plant based, to reduced sugar and enhanced nutrition, the industrial bakery market sits at the intersection of multiple big trends that are redefining what consumers want. Each of the major trends for 2022 marks a significant shift for the industry. Collectively, they are reshaping what it takes to succeed in industrial bakery in Asia.
The reduced sugar trend illustrates the extent of the change now underway. After years in which obesity became a growing health problem, Asian countries and consumers are pushing back against foods that are perceived to contribute to the issue, creating a need for reduced sugar products.
The proportion of overweight and obese adults in Malaysia jumped from 21% in 1996 to 48% in 2015.1 Similarly, the prevalence of diabetes rose from 12% in 2006 to 18% in 2015. The trends, and their implications for public health, led the Malaysian government to impose a tax on sweetened drinks and outline plans to extend the duty to cover sugary foods.
Similar dynamics are playing out in other Asian countries, with the Philippines and Thailand putting taxes on sugary products and Singapore introducing the Healthier Choice Symbol to encourage consumers to improve their diets.2,3,4 Survey data suggests consumers are keen to reduce their sugar consumption. One study found 87% of people in the Asia-Pacific region are trying to cut their intake of sugary products.5
How consumer demands are changing
The industrial bakery industry is contending with the reduced sugar trend while adapting to many other changes in the marketplace. Sustainability is now a significant worry for consumers in Asia, as shown by a survey that found the vast majority of Indonesians, across multiple age groups, are very or extremely concerned about environmental issues including deforestation, the depletion of natural resources, and waste production.6 Seven in 10 people in Southeast Asia see climate changes as a serious threat.7
Plant-based ingredients and chocolate
Concerns about the environment are contributing to the rise of plant-based eating in Asia. Demand for some categories of plant-based products and ingredients are forecast to grow 200% over five years as consumers change their diets in response to environmental and health concerns.8 Given animal-based products are central to some traditional baked goods, the trend will affect the industrial bakery market.
Dark chocolate is typically naturally plant-based. However, white chocolate is traditionally made using milk, creating a problem for bakers that rely on the ingredient and want to meet demand for plant-based foods. The situation has opened up an opportunity for manufacturers that can create plant-based baked goods that feature white chocolate.
The focus on healthy eating is also reflected in growing interest in products with enhanced nutritional properties. Reformulating products to be high in fiber, low in fat, or high in protein can enable industrial bakers to target large groups of consumers, such as the two-thirds of people who associate protein with “general health and wellness”.9
Family Packs and longer shelf life
Consumers are also rethinking when they buy baked goods. Rather than buy single items, consumers are increasingly purchasing multi-item family packs of products. The shift, which was driven by the pandemic and demographic changes, is creating a need for baked goods that have a longer shelf life or are suitable for home freezing.10
A partner for a changing market
Support is available for companies that are trying to adapt their businesses to changes in the industrial bakery market. Freyabadi Indotama is rolling out new products tailored to current consumer demands, such as no added sugar chocolate and white compound chocolate made with plant-based ingredients. The products built on the Indonesia-based chocolate supplier’s 26-year history of providing couverture chocolate and compound chocolate products to confectionery, ice cream manufacturers, quick service restaurants and industrial bakeries.
Freyabadi Indotama works with its clients to incorporate its innovations and customization requirements into their products, collaborating on the creation of new concepts that align with emerging trends. The result is baked goods that combine the sensory attributes consumers desire with the health and sustainability credentials today’s consumers demand.
1. THE IMPLEMENTION OF TAXATION ON SUGAR-SWEETENED BEVERAGES (SSBs) IN MALAYSIA.
2. Neo, P. Tax attack? Philippines considers higher sugar levy and new ‘junk food’ tax to offset COVID-19 impacts. foodnavigator-asia.com (2020).
3. Taste, P., Malaysia Dairy Industries, Brand, A. & Siong, S. Healthier Choice Symbol. Health Promotion Board.
4. Sukanya Sirikeratikul, P. W. Thai Excise Department Implements New Sugar Tax on Beverages. (2017).
5. Industry, A. P. F. Sugar & Sweeteners: Evolving Trends In Asia Pacific. Asia Pacific Food Industry (2020).
6. Feber, D., Granskog, A., Lingqvist, O. & Nordigården, D. Sustainability in packaging: Consumer views in emerging Asia. (2021).
7. Jack Board. Survey reveals Southeast Asians’ concerns about lack of regional climate change action. CNA.
8. Media, C. Plant-based demand in Asia will surge over 200% in next 5 years, says DuPont N&B. .foodingredientsfirst.com/ (2020).
9. Hughes, M. FMCG GURUS: Alternative protein sources: current and future market trends within the food, drink and nutritional supplement space. (2019).
10. Razdan, R., Yamakawa, N., Francois, M. & Seong, J. The shifting consumer packaged goods market in a diversifying Asia. (2021).